With the China International Import Expo (CIIE) set to start, French President Emmanuel Macron is heading to Shanghai on 4 November to ensure that Europe, as Politico puts it, “doesn’t end up as the big loser” when Washington and Beijing finally bring about their “impending trade truce.”
According to the media outlet, European leaders appear to be concerned with the prospects of Europe one again becoming the primary target of tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump once the trade war between the United States and China is finally over.
“We don’t want Europe to be a collateral victim of a US-China trade deal. Hence the necessity of moving forward on bilateral negotiations between the EU and China now,” Macron’s aide said.
During a joint press conference with Trump at the G7 summit earlier this year, Macron also insisted that Europe’s interests should be taken into account as the US and China bury the proverbial hatchet in their trade conflict.
However, it appears that Macron’s upcoming trip has already been criticised in Europe by some, as two EU diplomats cited by Politico claimed that the Shanghai expo is allegedly meant to help enlist Europe’s aid in China’s trade war with the United States.
Paris also noted that the Shanghai event will be attended by incoming European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and German Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek, as well as by representatives of German businesses.
“Our point is that since this expo aims to show the opening of China to international markets then let’s show it through market access in the field of agro-food business, by progress on the two priority deals between the EU and China, let’s show it through commitments in terms of transparency, dialogue within the WTO,” the French president’s aide remarked.
News of this development comes as Trump announced that the signing site of the “phase one” trade deal, which represents 60% of the overall long-term agreement between the US and China, will be announced “soon”.
He delivered this reveal after Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced Wednesday that he’s calling off the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Santiago in mid-November, where Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were expected to discuss the deal, due to nationwide protests initially sparked by a proposed hike in public transport fares.